Maybe it’s because I’ve been to at least the last 10 Good Food & Wine shows if not every one, or maybe it’s because I have had the privilege to go to Anuga and experience the best food show in the world, but this years Good Food & Wine show just feels same old same old to me. There was nothing really new.
Now I’m not talking about the bigger than ever and very fabulous theatre of food, with all the rock star chefs that have been brought out, because that is impressive, I’m talking about the exhibition area. Maybe it’s because these are lean times and marketing budgets are slashed, or that the South African market is too small, but there seemed to be no great product innovation or introductions. I guess if a company has no ‘new news’ there is not much point going to exhibit at these sorts of shows. There were a few small and interesting producers, the kind of producers you see at food markets.
Sunflower butter from Sunspread – I bought a jar in order to become more closely acquainted.
By Nature – an impressive range of natural and organic dried fruits and nuts. I particularly liked the dried pomegranate seeds, almonds (local) and pistachio nuts from the Northern Cape (difficult to type and crack open at the same time).
Sublime– a very pretty and very pink range of delightful confectionery, meringues and biscuits. The chocolate fudge silenced me for a few seconds, that moment when the tongue tells the brain that something really good is going on.
Ornico – Flavours of Latin America. Three very spicy ladies selling some delicious and hot handmade sauces, empanada’s and taco’s.
Eureka Mills– Premium stone ground flour from a family business in the Overberg region and the kind of producer that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy about the way the wheat is farmed. The bread baked from this flour that I tasted was exceptional. If Ile de Pain in Knysna use it – its good enough for me.
Fish & Game– Peter Stevens specializes in some exceptional smoked seafood products. We tried the smoked tuna, to which I am going to say little else except that I cannot wait to get my hands on this very, very soon…I’m thinking smoked tuna carpaccio. Watch this space!
Feast-de-renaissance – a fabulous range of pears in a syrup of red wine, raspberry and cinnamon. The opportunities to extend this product are almost endless. They also do some funky stuff with plums, citrus and blueberries.
Contact details of above:
- By nature: www.bynature.co.za / info (@) bynature . co . za
- Sublime: www.sublimeconfectionery.co.za
- Orinoco: info (@) constantiacuisine.co. za
- Eurika Mills: www.eurekamills.co.za
- Fish & Game: Peter Stevens – fishmasters (@) xsinet.co.za
- Feast-de-renaissance: www.feast-de-renaissance.com
For me the main focus was definitely the big name chefs they brought out and I was very thrilled to be able to catch Willie Harcourt Cooze . I’ve been a big fan of his TV show and watched his progress as he started his chocolate factory, and seeing and chatting to him in person, this is a man that oozes passion for chocolate from every single one of his pores.
He talked about how he landed up buying his Venezuelan cacao bean farm and some of the elements that are involved in the making of the product. We tasted a toasted cacao bean, and could pick up hints of how this fruit lands up becoming confectionery. We also tasted chocolate nibs and then, what I had wanted to taste for a long time, the 100% chocolate. Wow! what a taste sensation. I cannot wait to try it in some savoury cooking. The 69% and 70% was spectacular, very different with an interesting acidity.
Then it was on to see Luke Dale Roberts from the 12thbest restaurant in the world; La Colombe and Scot Kirton from the neighboring River Café who did a little bit of ‘ready steady cook’. JeannieD rather charmingly handled the presenting part.
The master seemingly effortlessly whipped up two courses in 30 minutes.